Cartoon band Whale Island (鲸鱼岛乐队) released its first single just after the Qingming festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, this April. Rollicking through the many deaths of the year past, “Poor Guy” is also a tribute to those who succumbed to ongoing perils in China, from chengguan beatings to poisoning. The song is not just a year in review, but a jaunty eulogy for many of the dead of today’s China.
(Click “CC” on the bottom of the YouTube window to view English subtitles.)
Causes of death in “Poor Guy” include:
- beating by chengguan (city management officials)
- kidney stones from tainted milk
- forced demolition
- bridge collapse
- fake medicine
- roommate poisoning
- construction accidents
- mining accidents
- knife attack
- missing Malaysia Airlines flight
The two suicides in the video are exaggerations of the fates of good samaritans cheated by those they have helped and of young single men who find they cannot marry before they’ve purchased a car and a house.
In the chorus, Whale Island laments that they continue to 扑街 puk gai–Cantonese for “fuck off” and also the word for planking.
Translation by Little Bluegill.